Biofuel briefs

C&I Issue 23, 2007

• The first UK bioethanol plant has been formally opened by environment minister Hilary Benn after begining production trials at the end of September. The 56m t/yr facility, owned by British Sugar, is co-located with the world’s largest beet sugar factory at Wissington, Norfolk.

• Trade body European Bioplastics forecasts that the global bioplastics production capacity will increase sixfold in the period to 2011. The shares of the three material classes: synthetic/biodegradable, biobased/biodegradable and biobased/non-biodegradable, are expected to change signifcantly towards biobased/non-biodegradable materials. While the latter’s share of capacity is currently around 12% of a total 262 000 t/yr, in 2011, this is expected to climb to almost 40% of the total capacity of 1.5m t/year.

• The European Commission has given clearance for a new oil seed crushing unit and vegetable oil refining plant at Ineos Champlor’s joint venture facility in Baleycourt, Verdun, France. The E70 project, involving Ineos Enterprise, French farming cooperative Siclaé, and oil-crushing concern C Thywissen, is scheduled for completion during 2008 and will facilitate a more than doubling of the biodiesel capacity to 230 000 t/yr.

• The EU is proposing rules requiring that biofuels must produce at least a 10% saving, on a life cycle basis, in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, according to Reuters news agency. Other proposed restrictions include a ban on growing  biofuel crops on wetlands and other areas that naturally store carbon, and other areas where biodiversity would be lost if the land is turned over to growing biofuel crops. There would also be encouragement for so-called second generation biofuel production based on cellulose.

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